Software for a small library
October 22, 2010 9:49 AM   Subscribe

What kind of cheap/affordable cataloging software is out there for small libraries?

My mother is a librarian who manages a small library of reference books for the company of a friend. They have about 2200 volumes. She currently uses a 20 year old copy of ProCite for DOS and using it has become increasingly infeasible, especially with regards to creating a printed catalog, which currently involves several hoops: printing to a plain text file, getting that file out of the VirtualBox DOS VM that we use to run it, then loading that text file into Word for printing.

So, what are her options? A newer version of ProCite for Windows, perhaps, but it looks like it hasn't been updated in a decade. Also, it really is for managing bibliographies, not a library catalog, but since her needs are pretty simple, it or other bibliographic software may work. I've used BibDesk on the Mac, but she has a Windows machine.

Being able to print catalogs by title, author, subject heading, and Dewey number are definite needs. Letting the company's employees easily access the catalog on a computer would be an absolute plus, but the printed catalogs are still necessary.

Anything that can import from any sort of text format should be ok; I should be able to massage the text export from the old ProCite into just about anything.
posted by zsazsa to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Koha might fit the bill, might be overkill.
posted by gyusan at 10:06 AM on October 22, 2010

I used L4U at a small library. Would probably do what you're looking for, and wasn't very expensive.
posted by asperity at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2010

The same company that makes EndNote and Reference Manager also makes ProCite. They no longer develop the latter two but EndNote is up to date and quite awesome for managing a personal library (Mac/PC).

I can't help with suggestions for library software but she could easily improve her current situation with a copy of EndNote (~100 bucks for non-academics) and it will easily import ProCite files.
posted by special-k at 11:37 AM on October 22, 2010

I was part of a flashmob that cataloged a collection of about this size using LibraryThing. Import/Export functions are all there and metadata can be crowdsourced if you want to improve upon (maybe) your existing records.
posted by yamel at 12:04 PM on October 22, 2010

I use Obiblio to catalog my personal library, a dozen or so short of 1000 titles. Caveat: I don't lend my books, I don't have staff, I don't have barcodes. I've tweeked the backend to support links to Google Books and Amazon.

It's an ILS like Koha above - not a bibliography. If you're virtualizing DOS, you're probably tinker-y enough to figure out the SQL queries to make complete catalogs (not just the out-to-circulation and overdue-fees reports that come standard).

I don't use it everyday like a librarian would, so take that with a huge grain of salt.
posted by panmunjom at 1:08 AM on October 23, 2010

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